Current and former for-profit college students like their school’s quality, but not the high costs, reports Public Agenda. Alumni aren’t certain their degree was worth it.
Students and alumni “agree that their schools have caring instructors, keep class sizes small, and give effective guidance (though alumni are slightly less enthusiastic),” according to the survey. Current students say they’re making good progress in their course of study.
However, students and alumni say their schools are expensive, and nearly half of current students say they worry “a lot” about taking on too much debt.
A third of alumni say their degree “really wasn’t worth it.” Another 30 percent say their degree’s value “remains to be seen” and 37 percent say their degree was “well worth it.”
About half of the employers surveyed see few differences between for-profit and not-for-profit colleges. The rest see public institutions as superior. However, many employers aren’t clear about which colleges are for-profit or non-profit.
Many students don’t realize they’re attending a “for-profit” school.
Like community colleges, for-profit colleges draw many low-income students, notes Public Agenda. These “economically vulnerable” students are not “comparative shoppers.” Just 39 percent of for-profit undergraduates and 32 percent of for-profit alumni had considered more than one school before they enrolled at their current institutions. Even fewer considered a non-profit alternative. Community college students show similar patterns.
Thank God I wasn’t college material, writes Matt Walsh.
He hated high school.
I dreaded every class, every assignment, every test, every worksheet, every mound of busywork, every shallow and forced interaction with peers I couldn’t relate to or connect with or understand; every moment, every second, every part, every inch of every aspect of my public educational experience.”
One day in detention, the teacher asked what he wanted to do with his life. He thought maybe he could be a writer. Writing was the only thing that came naturally.
That’s when she dropped the bombshell: “Well, that sounds like an amazing goal, Matt. Get those grades up and go to college for a degree in creative writing!”
. . . I have to go to college to do the one thing I’m kind of halfway good at doing? I have to finish high school and then go through FOUR MORE YEARS OF THIS? Impossible. I’m not college material. I’m not even high school material.
And I have to get a DEGREE in CREATIVITY? Wait, WHAT? Your creativity comes from your own mind and your own heart — you can’t learn how to be creative. If I can write things, and people want to read the things that I write, shouldn’t I be able to market that ability, regardless of my college experience?
Walsh never went to college. That means he didn’t “amass a gigantic debt” or “miss out on four or five years” developing his skills. He supports his family of four as a writer.
College makes sense for future doctors, lawyers, engineers and the like, Walsh writes. But it’s a scam for most students.
Something has to change. Listen to me on this one. Something HAS to change. This can’t continue. It is not a sustainable model. There are millions of kids with no assets, no plans, and no purpose, taking out enormous loans to purchase a piece of paper they’ll likely never use. It can’t go on this way.
. . . Total student debt has gone up by 275 percent in the last decade. How far will it climb, how many more kids will be thrown to the wolves, before we change direction? Since I was born, college tuition rates have gone up by 500 percent. FIVE HUNDRED PERCENT. Why do we send guys like Bernie Madoff to prison while the academic elite get away with gouging an entire generation to death?
“Don’t send your kids to college” unless they’re pursuing a career that requires a degree, he writes.
Writers can demonstrate their skills by writing. In many other fields, it’s harder to prove competence. But certifications, digital badges and such like could help young adults show what they know.
Chris Bowyer is the first person in his family not to go to college. He works for the family business, a media company. He thinks college costs too much.
Young PhDs are scrambling for a few tenure-track jobs, working as poorly paid adjuncts for years on end and getting very, very angry, writes Megan McArdle on Bloomberg.
Rebecca Schuman’s “naming and shaming” of UC Riverside’s interviewing process set off an angry online debate, including Job Market Rage Redux and How the Tenured Are to the Job Market as White People Are to Racism.
“Academia is now one of the most exploitative labor markets in the world,” writes McArdle.
It’s not quite up there with Hollywood and Broadway in taking kids with a dream and encouraging them to waste the formative decade(s) of their work life chasing after a brass ring that they’re vanishingly unlikely to get, then dumping them on the job market with fewer employment prospects than they had at 22. But it certainly seems to be trying to catch up.
. . . it’s not surprising that so many academics believe that the American workplace is a desperately oppressive and exploitative environment in which employers can endlessly abuse workers without fear of reprisal, or of losing the workers. That’s a pretty accurate description of the job market for academic labor … until you have tenure.
The academic job market won’t improve until graduate programs admit fewer students, she writes. “A lot fewer.” Some PhD programs should “go out of existence.”
But of course, this is saying that universities, and tenured professors, should do something that is radically against their own self-interest. That constant flow of grad students allows professors to teach interesting graduate seminars while pushing the grunt work of grading and tutoring and teaching intro classes to students and adjuncts. It provides a massive oversupply of adjunct professors who can be induced to teach the lower-level classes for very little, thus freeing up tenured professors for research.
Only a third of university professors are tenured or on the tenure track and only 19 percent of non-tenure-track teaching jobs are full time.
Desiree Robertson teaches sociology part-time at Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis while working full time at a foundation. The adjunct’s life is a balancing act, she tells the Chronicle of Higher Ed.
Dirty Jobs’ host Mike Rowe talks to Reason.TV about the “diploma dilemma” and the high cost of college. “We are lending money we don’t have to kids who can’t pay it back to train them for jobs that no longer exist,” says Rowe. “That’s nuts.”
Afraid of college debts, more New Hampshire students are starting the path to a bachelor’s degree at a community college, reports New Hampshire Public Radio. Community college transfers to state universities increased by 57 percent in the last six years.
Twenty-six thousand dollars. That’s about how much students can save by going to a community college for two years, then transferring to a four-year school. Not including financial aid or room and meals.
. . . Rebekah Lamirande has plans to get a Masters degree in nursing. She says growing up, she was sure she’d go to a four year college. Her father has a PhD, and her mother has two degrees, too. Of course, then the recession happened. LaMirande was in High School.
“It just wasn’t in the cards, moneywise,” she says. “I didn’t want to graduate with over $100,000 worth of student loans.”
Transfer was simplified in 2009: New Hampshire community college students know if they earn a certain grade point average they’re guaranteed admission to a state university.
Ashley Desrochers is a senior at UNH. She says the easy transfer process was important to her in choosing not to go to UNH for all four years, but to start at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord.
Desrochers says although her peers at NHTI were not as ambitious or driven as her classmates at UNH, the academics were just as good. In fact, class sizes were much smaller. “I would never think a community college education is less than a university education,” she says.
The number of 18-year-olds is on the decline in New England. “By aligning curricula, streamlining the application process, and recruiting on-site, New Hampshire is trying to keep community college transfer students not just in the state, but enrolled in New Hampshire’s university system,” reports NPR. However, a 2006 state survey showed that 72 percent of students who start at community college want to transfer to a four-year program but only 20 percent reach that goal.
30-Year-Old Has Earned $11 More Than He Would Have Without College Education headlines The Onion. It’s a parody that’s all too close to reality.
“After accounting for the cost of tuition, four years of lost earning potential, and the minimal increase in salary an undergraduate degree provides,” 30-year-old Patrick Moorhouse of Dublin, Ohio has raised his earnings by $11, reports The Onion. Moorhouse’s more prestigious first-choice college would have led to $54 more in earnings, said researcher Ken Overton.
“If Patrick had started working straight out of high school, he would have had slightly fewer job options than he does now, but living at home instead of a dorm or student apartment even just those first two years would have added at least $16,000 in total savings, which pretty much evens things out.”
However, it’s impossible to “put a price on the 12 Post-WWII European History lectures Moorhouse attended junior year,” the study noted.
Seven out of 10 high school graduates choose college, observes Smart Shoppers, a report by College Summit and Bellwether Education Partners. Despite warnings of a degree glut, the college wage premium continues to rise. College-educated workers earned 80 percent more than high school-only workers in 2012.
Schools must do a better job identifying students — especially disadvantaged students — who aren’t reaching their potential, Smart Shoppers argue. ”Schools, colleges, nonprofits, and businesses need to do a better job of educating students about their options on which college they should attend, which degrees they should pursue, and how they should pay for it.”
About a quarter of the gap in college attendance between affluent and working-class students can’t be explained by academic performance, a new study concludes. The Sutton Trust, a British think tank, looked at college-going in the U.S., Britain and Australia.
The Education Department has launched a Financial Aid Toolkit to help counselors explain college aid to students and parents.
Seventy-one percent of last year’s college graduates were in debt with an average of $29,400 in student loans per borrower, reports the Project on College Debt. The debt load increased by 10.5 percent from the year before, according to Student Debt and the Class of 2012.
Graduates will have trouble paying back their loans: 18.3 percent of young college graduates are unemployed or working fewer hours than they wish. However, low earners can qualify for income-based repayment, which links repayment to earnings, and Pay As You Earn, which forgives unpaid debt in 20 years rather than 25.
Nearly three-quarters of Americans worry about college costs, according to a Bellevue University survey. Fifty-five percent said they’d pursue a degree if it wouldn’t put them into debt; 40 percent said obtaining more education is worth taking on more debt.
In another survey, 42 percent of young people blame colleges and universities for rising student debt and 30 percent blame the federal government.